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I'm surprised no one has diaried this yet. Lawrence Walsh, Special Prosecutor in the Iran-Contra scandal, died yesterday at the age of 102.

Maybe there is no interest because none of the really big douche-bags, like Dick Cheney, who should have gone to jail, didn't. Maybe there is no interest because you would have to be in your forties or fifties now, or older, to even remember the Iran-Contra scandal. Maybe a lot of people don't even know what the the Iran-Contra scandal was. President Ronald Reagan and his minions directly violated U.S. laws prohibiting military aid to the anti-communists contras of Nicaragua. And raised the money to aid the Contras by covertly supplying arms to the Iranian revolutionaries who had seized and held the American embassy for nearly two years.

I will let Charles Pierce, of Esquire's Politics Blog, have the last word:

....Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush -- were allowed to skate away from crimes that were an order of magnitude worse than the crimes that cost Richard Nixon the White House. Moreover, the utter lack of accountability in the wake of the Iran-Contra revelations was the seedbed for most of what has gone wrong with the balance of powers, American foreign policy, and the courtier media ever since.

Because we punished nobody for these crimes, we learned nothing from the preposterous hijacking of the country's foreign policy by, among other people, a congenital liar like Oliver North. Because we punished nobody for these crimes, we allowed many of the players involved, and a lot of the people (like Dick Cheney) who participated in the combination of obfuscation and sabotage that prevented a proper investigation, back into the government under President George W. Bush. They brought with them the absolutist view of the Executive branch that had been the foundation of the cover-up. Torture, the barbering of due process, and the Iraq War were the results. Because we punished nobody for these crimes, a poison was released into the American political system that is still there today. Because the press essentially rolled over on the possibility of punishing these crimes.... the profession embedded in itself a deference to actual power that continues to afflict it. (That Bill Clinton actually was impeached over what he actually was impeached over is a kind of historical funhouse mirror in which to view the crimes of Iran-Contra.) Every institution that was supposed to act as a safety valve against rogue criminality in the government failed utterly. The country and its government, quite simply, has never been the same.

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